Nemnich jury to be selected from 400

A jury for the trial of a 65-year-old man charged with murder in two 1975 slayings will be culled from a pool of 400 Mesa County residents.

Rose Anne Kelley, jury commissioner for Mesa County’s 21st Judicial District, said some 400 summonses for jury duty should have arrived in mailboxes during the week of Sept. 13.

Half of the group will be asked to report on the first day of Jerry Nemnich’s trial Oct. 12, and another 200 will be called in Oct. 14 if a jury cannot be seated from the first group, Kelley said.

The trial is scheduled over 14 days in District Judge Brian Flynn’s courtroom.

Nemnich, an over-the-road trucker who had been living in Longmont, has pleaded not guilty in the killings of 24-year-old Linda Benson and her 5-year-old daughter, Kelley, who were stabbed to death in their Grand Junction apartment on July 25, 1975.

Authorities have said in court documents and during a pre-trial hearing that Nemnich’s DNA was found in blood on Linda Benson’s body and on other items inside the apartment.

A detective also testified during a preliminary hearing that Nemnich’s girlfriend from 1975 has said he returned to the couple’s former Texas Avenue home one night in the summer of 1975 with blood on his jeans, explaining he’d been in a fight with a man at a local bar.

Nemnich has been held at the Mesa County Jail on $3 million bond since his arrest in April 2009.


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